There are lots of reasons why reading is important for children, and as an author, I’ve done extensive research on why it’s so beneficial. This article could be pages long, but hey, nobody reads anything pages long anymore – oh the irony!
Reading connects many different areas of the brain. When you read the words on a page your brain develops a picture of the characters in the story engaging the imagination as we translate descriptions, it leads to more highly developed language skills and vocabulary, develops focus for an extended period of time, creates empathy with characters from all walks of life, and teaches about the extended world.
I think there are few that would deny that all of the above skills are key to being active and productive members of society. But what we generally fail to realize, in our busy world today, is that reading is a form of relaxation available to everybody. Yes, for those who can afford it, a day at the spa would be optimal. But reading is a form of silence and relaxation at everybody’s fingertips.
I remember my dad coming home from work and sitting on the living room floor with the newspaper. He’d read it from front to back and literally wouldn’t hear you when you spoke to him. As a child this annoyed me considerably, as an adult I now understand that this was his way of relaxing, disconnecting from the noise and activity he had all day long while at work.
Reading to young children has even more benefits than those mentioned above. First it builds a stronger relationship with you. It creates academic excellence and helps them develop critical language and enunciation skills. It helps them master the language and become better communicators. It enhances their concentration and discipline as well. But above all, reading to young children gives them the knowledge that reading is fun, an indulgence, not a chore. Children who have been exposed to books at an early age are more likely to choose books as a form of entertainment than they are to watch television or play video games! So snuggle up together with a book, slow down, and connect!